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How to protect animal welfare while travelling

Parisa Pouramn

Reviewed by:

Sloth climbing tree

Passionate about wildlife and want to factor some unforgettable experiences into your travels? We’d recommend doing some in-depth research to ensure you’re enjoying these experiences the right way and taking into account animal welfare. For example, sloth cuddles and elephant walks are actually quite harmful to these beautiful creatures. 

From experiences to souvenirs, here are three ways you can prioritise animal welfare and avoid unethical activities which could contribute to animal mistreatment. 

The plight of India’s abused elephants, and what you can do about it

The plight of India’s abused elephants, and what you can do about it

Brinkley Davies
by Brinkley Davies Nov 02, 2018

1. Be mindful of where you shop

Believe it or not, ivory trinkets, crocodile leather bags and authentic fur coats are still harvested from wild animals around the world. And purchasing endangered animal products may not be as uncommon as you think. Elephants are poached for illegal ivory trading, endangered sea turtles are caught and killed for their shells – the list goes on! Refusing to buy goods that have contributed to the harm of animals will greatly help protect wildlife in the long run. 

Instead, we recommend buying locally handmade items and crafts as often as possible and paying a fair price – this will also help your tourism have a positive effect on local communities. 

10 ethical animal experiences that enjoy wildlife responsibly

10 ethical animal experiences that enjoy wildlife responsibly

Dominic Oliver
by Dominic Oliver Mar 07, 2024

2. Never ride animals

In countries like Cambodia and Thailand, elephant riding is still a popular activity but also very cruel. In some cases, wild baby elephants are captured and beaten to force them into submission; this is known as Phajaan, or ‘the crush’. Luckily, there are special sanctuaries which save and care for elephants exploited by this harsh tourism trade; you can even visit one with Contiki. To protect these beautiful animals, always say no to wild animal rides. 

Elephants in Thailand

Image source:Photo: @paweldotio

3. Avoid live animal entertainment

From travelling animal circuses to monkey street performances, wild animals are persistently used as entertainment around the world to attract both tourists and money.  Animals do not exist to entertain us, and deserve to live freely. For the benefit of wildlife everywhere, avoid all forms of live animal entertainment. 

This turtle sanctuary in Sri Lanka is an animal lover’s dream

This turtle sanctuary in Sri Lanka is an animal lover’s dream

by Danielle Kirk Dec 07, 2021

Do you love travel and are passionate about protecting the world’s wildlife? See how we at Contiki MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® with the help of our partner TreadRight, ensuring that we prioritise ethical wildlife experiences through our Animal Welfare Policy.

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